HRDCVR: The Voice of the Culture

It’s Monday, June 2, 2014, I’m literally standing in my living room fist pumping in the air like Arsenio Hall. Not only is the weather perfect in Texas today, but I am about to interview Danyel Smith regarding HRDCVR (HRDCVR means Hard Cover. No Vowels)! HRDCVR is a new venture Danyel Smith and her husband, Elliott Wilson has created. HRDCVR is a book shaped magazine by and for the new everyone. Danyel and Elliott are seeking funding for HRDCVR through With less than a month remaining for funding,at least $33,000.00 has been raised. Funding will be available until June 26, 2014. There are multiple levels of pledging from $20.00-$10,000.00. Each level of pledging offers incentives ranging from an invitation to the HRDCVR launch party to a cocktail party hosted by Danyel and Elliott.

Danyel and Elliott have served as editors for top publications. Even if you don’t know them, there is strong possibility that you have been exposed to their work. Currently, a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, Danyel is a novelist and former editor of Vibe Magazine and Billboard Magazine. Elliott is the founder of, former Editor in Chief of XXL Magazine and creator of the CRWN interview series. Together they have created HRDCVR. HRDCVR will change the landscape of journalism. Danyel and I discussed the purpose of HRDCVR and the impact it will have on the world.

Can you explain what HRDCVR is?

Danyel: HRDCVR is a culture magazine. We are not trying to bring print back, but create something that is tangible and real. You can have it in your home as something that reflects you. There will be multiple ways to share HRDCVR: Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. We want something to exist that is monumental to this year and represents the diverse world we live in.

When I open HRDCVR, what can I expect to see inside? (Expected release date is Black Friday)

Danyel: It will be heavy, high quality paper and printing. You can expect to see stories about President Obama and his family. We will highlight stories in places such as Gary, Indiana; Jackson, Mississippi; and Flint, Michigan. There are good journalist doing quality work in those areas, but sometimes they do not get the opportunity to get their stories covered deeply. The music of Gladys Knight, Troy Ave and others will be reflected in the pages of HRDCVR. There is also room for poetry, short stories, technology and anything that is part of our regular lives. The goal is to keep it really exciting. We want to show the true diversity of the United States represented on paper.

What type of experience are you seeking for contributors of HRDCVR?

Danyel: We want people who are comfortable being themselves. We want you to pitch a story to us that is real to you. Have your teachers, family or friends proof read it and send it to us. Send photos of your environment.

5 years from now, how do you want people to remember HRDCVR?

Danyel: I want them to remember that in the internet revolution, this print publication came through and changed the game. We want people to feel that this is the first time their culture was represented in journalism.

In my conversation with Danyel, it was evident that she and Elliott are passionate about HRDCVR. Their desire to impact the culture is contagious. The HRDCVR movement is inspiring and it is igniting a passion in people that have felt disenfranchised. No longer will we wait for mainstream media to tell our story, but we will follow our dreams and allow our voices to be heard.

Danyel is a legend. Elliott is a legend. HRDCVR will be legendary.


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